Ecological Theories in the Anthropocene: Exploring Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana

Ms Katherine Orrick1

1Yale Univeristy – Forestry And Environmental Studies, New Haven, United States, 2Round River Conservation Studies, Salk Lake City, United States

Abstract:

Ecological concepts help link theory to conservation practice. By applying theories of species interactions to fieldwork, one can grasp a much greater understanding and inner-workings of an ecological system. Recent bodies of literature highlight the impact that humans, a super-predator, have on carnivores. This downgrade of carnivores from apex to mesopredator may lead to spatiotemporal partitioning and cause cascade effects on the rest of the surrounding environment (Oriol-Cotterill et al 2015). The idea of the human-caused Landscape of Fear (LOF) for apex predators has been seen as distinct and separate from natural impacts or resources. It can also be shaped by the diversity and size of the species community and how accurate the animal can predict being attacked (Bleicher 2017). I apply these theoretical concepts to the Makgadikgadi region of Botswana to help understand the dynamics of human-wildlife conflict (HWC). Where gaps exist I develop new or alternative theories, including predators LOF being shaped either by intraspecific competition or by humans. Humans use the landscape in different ways and unique from other species (McIntyre & Hobbs 1999), so these documented spatio-temporal or behavioural shifts are dissimilar to predator-prey concepts or even apex-mesopredator theories. The individual ecological needs, and animal abundances, for each facet of this system is critical for understanding the fundamental drivers of wildlife behavior and movements. Region-specific studies also help further develop and strengthen these ecological theories in the era of the Anthropocene.


Biography:

Kaggie is currently a Ph.D. student at Yale University where her studies focus on Human/Wildlife Conflict in the Makgadikgadi/Nxai Pans of Botswana. She received a MA in Conservation Biology at Columbia University in 2015 where her thesis focused on anthropogenic features that influence elephant movement. Kaggie has been working with Round River in Botswana since September 2015.

Species on the Move

An International Conference Series

The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.


Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.
© 2015 - 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd